There’s been a lot of speculation surrounding Andy Reid’s announcement of the switch from Kevin Kolb to Michael Vick. One of the prevailing theories is that the change was a result of poor play by the offensive line. Vick is a scrambling quarterback who can evade the rush, while Kolb is more of a pocket passer.
Mike McGlynn, the starting center after the injury to Jamaal Jackson, takes issue with that assumption. “I don’t know how we’re taking the heat for the quarterback switch either,” McGlynn said. “Mike [Vick] went in there and, I mean look at him, the guy did a lot of good things. How do you say, OK, we’re going to switch the quarterback because of the offensive line? I don’t understand that.”
McGlynn may not get it, but the Eagles line has definitely struggled in pass protection. The Birds have allowed a league worst 12 sacks, four more than the second-worst Panthers . Philadelphia is also last in quarterback hits, having allowed 19. Nevertheless, McGlynn doesn’t see any issues with his or the line’s performance. “No, I don’t, no,” he said.
“There’s a lot of variables, one [of the sacks] was on a screen, you know there’s a lot of variables you have. People just look at, OK, they gave up six sacks, they’re terrible,” McGlynn said. “No, you watch the film. Watch the film and then you can critique us then.”
It’s unlikely that McGlynn’s statements will lessen the criticism of a line that’s on pace to allow more than two and a half times as many sacks as it did last year. Even if you account for the so-called variables and cut the number in half , the Eagles would have allowed the sixth-most sacks in the NFL.
Whether Michael Vick was named the starter due to the offensive line or not, his legs may help mask the weakness for the time being. At some point though, the Eagles need to improve the protection.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg agreed this morning, channeling his inner Andy Reid. “We’ve got to do better there,” Mornhinweg said. “Now, you take out a big percentage of plays, and I think the offensive line played well. However, you just can’t do that, those other plays are there and we’ve got to be more consistent.”